The pond is full of sparrows. It’s difficult to see the little brown blurs from the photo I took through the window, but birds have been dropping from the long strands of honeysuckle all morning. They balance on the lily pads and hop across the surface of thick pond plants to splash and play like children in a paddling pool. Occasionally they take fright, and rise as one to hide among the branches of privet; but within a few short minutes, a flurry of wings and high-pitched chatter signals their arrival once again.
In the meantime, swallows have been harvesting swarms of flying ants and tiny insects brought out by the recent warmth. Then they line the wires like notes on staves, preening and preparing for the long flight south. Autumn is not far off.